Santa Clarita residents anticipate Knight’s town hall meeting

Congressman Steve Knight. Dan Watson/The Signal

Congressman Steve Knight is holding a town hall meeting March 4 at the Chimbole Cultural Center in Palmdale for members of his district to discuss national healthcare policy and other legislative issues.

“Rep. Knight wants to hear from members of all communities and welcomes them at the event,” Knight’s communications director Dan Outlaw said.

Currently, over 130 people across the district have said they will attend, according to the Steve Knight Town Hall Facebook page.

Several Santa Clarita residents said they plan to make the drive to the meeting, including Newhall School District board member Christy Smith. She said she sees repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and removing Federal involvement from public school systems as the most glaring issues to discuss.

“It is really important for me to be there as a local elected leader to call into question what some of those decisions are that our congressman might be making that take us down a path that there is not broad support for in this community,” Smith said.

With an anticipated turnout of several hundred people, Smith said she thinks there ought to be more town halls scheduled in Santa Clarita, Antelope and Simi Valleys.

Chad Kambell, a Santa Clarita resident, said he sees it as important to attend the meeting because the ACA helped his father-in-law pay for his cancer treatment and believes the issue will impact the lives of others as well.

“The Affordable Care Act has allowed thousands of people in this district to get health coverage where they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to,” Kambell said. “It’s important that Congressman Knight’s constituents have the opportunity to make clear their concerns regarding the drive to repeal the law without any kind of workable solution that allows recipients to retain their coverage.”

Santa Clarita resident Chris Lott said he plans to attend the event because he wants to learn more about Knight’s healthcare plans.

“I’m interested in attending because Rep. Knight has said in the past that there is a plan ready for when the Affordable Care Act is repealed,” Lott said. “I’m attending with the hopes of finding out what the specifics of this plan are.”

Lott said he believes different cities in the district have unique concerns and thinks having town hall meetings for each area could address issues that are specific to an area’s residents.

“I believe Palmdale and Lancaster are a little more evenly split (politically,)” he said. “I’d assume that they have concerns about aerospace, military spending and the jobs that both of those might bring, things that aren’t necessarily as important to the SCV.”

Santa Clarita resident Jana Branch said she wants to attend the event to get a big-picture idea of Knight’s agenda.

“I hope this is the start of a more reliable ongoing conversation between Rep. Knight and people in SCV,” Branch said. “People want to be heard.”

The space holds room for 275 guests who will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Check in starts at 7:45 a.m. and the meeting will begin at 8:30 and last for an hour. Guests must bring a proof of ID showing they live in the 25th district.

Knight’s office does not currently have any other events planned.

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